Childhood syndrome linked to COVID-19 causes profound immune
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Researchers have uncovered how the immune system is altered in a rare COVID-19 related illness in children referred to as paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS-TS).

The first cases of PIMS-TS were treated at Evelina London in mid-April 2020. Initial reports suggested the condition may be similar to existing conditions such as Kawasaki disease. However, the new research confirms that PIMS-TS affects the body in a different way to other known conditions and has been identified as a new syndrome.

Blood samples were analysed from 25 children who had tested positive for the SARS-COV-2 virus, had symptoms of COVID-19, had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive, or whose parent was a healthcare worker.

Blood samples were tested from children these children at different stages of the disease, from the acute phase when they first came onto hospital, through to their outpatient appointments. The researchers compared these results to those of seven healthy age-matched children.

These immune changes are complex. The innate, otherwise known as the rapidly responding, immune cells are activated. The lymphocytes, a particular type of white cell involved in specific protective immunity, are depleted, but appear to be actively fighting infection.

"Clinically, these children respond to treatments that calm the immune system such as corticosteroid and immunoglobulins. Although there are similarities to existing conditions such as Kawasaki Disease, these clinical and immunological changes that we observe imply that PIMS-TS is a distinct illness associated with SARS-Co-V-2 infections," said researchers.

Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-1054-6
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